Article and photo by Urban Alliance staff

Desiring to foster deeper relationships among leaders, 16 senior leaders from UA network churches gathered last week for a day-long retreat, facilitated by Urban Alliance and held at the Center For Renewal in Simsbury. The hope is that the relationships formed would serve as a starting point for anything else the group might do together and as a foundation for ultimately developing more meaningful working relationships between churches in our community.

“I am so excited about the opportunity to bond and develop deeper relationships with the amazing, passionate and genuine pastors in the Micah Group,” shared Pastor Marichal Monts of the Citadel of Love.

Thanks to the following church’s leaders for participating: Calvary Church of West HartfordFaith Ministries ChurchGlory Chapel International CathedralHouse of Restoration ChurchInternational Gospel Fellowship Church, New Horizon Baptist Church, The Citadel of Love, The First Cathedral, Trinity ChurchValley Brook Community Church, Wethersfield Evangelical Free Church, Wintonbury Church.

During the retreat, leaders spent time getting to know each other better through sharing their stories with one another, praying and worshiping God together, and talking through group norms and expectations for the monthly gatherings. At the end of the day, many leaders gave feedback about the significance of growing in unity together.  

Pastor Andre Riendeau from Wintonbury Church shared, “The heart of Urban Alliance is for us to be ‘allied.’ Without intentional, quality time for getting to know each other, we’ll never be ‘one’. This retreat was a wonderful first step toward greater unity which, in turn will foster joint collaboration in God’s kingdom work here in Greater Hartford.”

“I see the hand of God in this initiative and I sincerely believe that our region is going to be positively impacted forever because of this effort,” said Monts.

Committed to take the concept of unity in ministry farther, this cohort of leaders plans to gather monthly for the next 16 months to engage in authentic discussion on key topics — like racism, income inequality, urban renewal, and others — that impact our ministry contexts. These topics have been researched and laid out as part of a Micah Group curriculum developed by Fuller Theological Seminary.

Through the UA Micah Group, leaders will be continually considering how these issues affect: 

  • Our own individual relationships with one another 
  • Our churches (and how we can work together as one Body)
  • Our communities (and how we can minister to hurting people)

Interested in joining the Urban Alliance network, please contact Russell Jarvis at 860.986.7664 or

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